Album Cover Art
Rock and roll has always pushed the limits of music compostion, performance, attire, additude and of course presentation, namely the album covers. The following covers were banned from store shelves until they were changed or in some cases sold in a plain paper wrapper.
The Beatles - Yesterday and Today (1966)
For their 1966 album, Yesterday and Today, the Beatles presented themselves as butchers, with raw beef and dismembered baby dolls. The image was the oppostie of their clean public image and radio DJs were outraged. Capitol Records quickly repackaged the record with a clean image of the band and some ablums had the new cover glued over the orginal. According to the Goldmine Album Price Guide (3rd Edition) albums that never had the picture pasted over can have a value of up to $8000.00. There is an article on my blog about this cover.
John Lennon - Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins (1968)
John Lennon's personal and musical experimentation during the late '60s can be attributed in part to his newfound love, Yoko Ono. The nude picture on the album cover was John's idea he said that "We used the straightest, most unflattering picture just to show that we were human." The label decided to put a brown bag over the record for sales purposes. The album with the bag is valued up to $150.00 but only $50.00 without it.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Electric Ladyland (1968)
For this album, Hendrix wanted his label to use a photo of his band surrounded by children in front of the Alice in Wonderland sculpture in New York City's Central Park. The label didn't go for it and pressed the album with a blurry red and yellow shot of Hendrix. A third version went to print that U.S. audiences didn't see. Released in the U.K. and Germany it featured a variety of naked women.
Blind Faith (1969)
Featuring Traffic's Steve Winwood, Family's Ric Grech and Cream's Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker, Blind Faith are widely considered to be one of rock's first super-groups. The British version of their only album featured a topless girl, supposedly she is Baker's daughter, holding a airplane. The US version was repackaged with a band photo. The naked girl cover is valued up to $25.00.
Alice Cooper - Love It to Death (1971)
The original artwork for Alice Cooper's Love It to Death featured Alice engaged in the classic prank of poking his thumb through the fly of his pants. For the revised sleeve, Alice's thumb and his right arm was airbrushed out. The thumbed version is valued up to $30.00
Mama Lion - Preserve Wildlife (1972)
Mama Lion's Preserve Wildlife cover featured the singer, Lynn Carey, nursing a lion cub. To prevent any objection, the final version of the album was issued with a cutaway cover that obscured the nursing action. Carey was Penthouse magazine's Pet of the Month in December of 1972.
Mouseover the picture to see the Penthouse cover
David Bowie - Diamond Dogs (1974)
For his Diamond Dog album David Bowie took the form of a half-man, half-dog. The original cover showed the dog's genitals but they were airbrused out on the revised cover. Most of the orignal covers were destroyed and the remaining survivors are worth from 1000 to 4000 dollars.
Roxy Music - Country Life (1974)
The title of Roxy Music's fourth album, Country Life, was reportedly taken from a U.K. magazine of the same name. It's not confirmed whether the magazine also featured lingerie clad models. The cover offended the moral majority in the U.S. and the album was repackaged to make them happpy. The version with the women has a value up to $25.00.
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All rights reserved. Updated March 2017.